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Fuel for Thought

To Mask, or Not To Mask, That Is The Question.

By Greg Huggins
Posted Jul 16th 2020 12:00PM

Many people debate whether masks work for filtering a virus, or how well it can filter anything. There are plenty of staunch supporters for their beliefs in whether masks are effective at stopping a pandemic or not. Just as with political affiliations and religious beliefs, each side has dug in their heels and refuses to budge on the issue. Those who believe masks work will hardly tolerate non maskers and vice versa.

While I do not intend to write about who is right and who is wrong on the mask issue, I did want to present a new perspective on the issue of mask or no mask (at least as much as it might apply to owner operators).

There are drivers and then there are owner operators. I make this distinction based on skin in the game. If you just drive a truck, yet have no monetary stake in the business of running said truck, you are a driver. Owner operators, on the other hand, have a stake in the business. Assets may be at risk, money is spent expecting a ROI, there is a lot more at stake than just the liability of driving amongst distracted drivers. When the trip is done, drivers may go home and leave work behind, owner operators will still have other work related issues to deal with after the trip is done. For a business owner, the job is never far away. 

What does this have to do with the question of mask or no mask? 

Customers can be difficult to obtain, even more difficult to keep at times, competition is everywhere. 

Does your customer’s personnel wear masks? 

Do they ask you to wear a mask while on their property? Do you comply or scoff?

Are you opposed to wearing a mask? 

Do you claim exemption from wearing a mask?

What does your customer see? 

Are they silently opposed to you not wearing a mask? 

Will your customer decide to use another carrier that can demonstrate they care about their policies and the safety of their workers?

Many people choose not to create a conflict, including your customer. If your customer is upset with you over your non compliance to don a face covering, they may decide to choose another carrier for future loads. One who aligns with their values. If you are an owner operator, that can be a big loss. If you are willing to wear a safety vest, hard hat, boots, FRC, etc., you may need to wear a face mask also as part of your required PPE to serve your customer, or risk losing that customer. It is your choice, but consider the repercussions.

See you down the road,

Greg